Comment on an Easter Epistle

I rarely read the opinions of Mr Laurent Le Pierres and it would probably have been better for both him and me if I had not read his Easter rant: With no sensory input from above, nothing's sacred. In the beginning, Le Pierres says:
The Chronicle Herald's masthead is solid black today. Most readers probably did not notice. As for those who did, they probably thought it was quaint. Or politically incorrect, because we are bowing to Christianity.
OK, I didn't notice and I wouldn't give a brass razoo if the masthead was pink with purple polka dots. Mr Le Pierres goes on to suggest that if I had noticed then I might have thought that the Chronicle Herald was being quaint or bowing to Christianity. I'd suggest to Mr Le Pierres that readers have a great many thoughts and that it is arrogant to narrowly frame readers as being so simplistic. How on earth could Mr Le Pierres know what readers think? Of course, some religious teachings do suggest that God not only knows what is in our minds but that He actually gives a fig... Is that where Mr Le Pierres gets his information? Mr Le Pierres does raise a valid question, however: Is the Chronicle Herald bowing to Christianity? I can't answer for the Chronicle Herald but Mr Le Pierres has written a bow to Christianity.

Mr Le Pierres follows arrogance with an illogical straw dog (straw man would be too kind):
This argument might be more credible if secular critics were more consistent. They don't mind a Christian holiday as long as it means a day off for everybody, but please don't treat it as a holy day for everybody.
The entimology of "holiday" does not make a holiday holy any more than it would make a secular person inconsistent.

Having masterfully offended common sense, Mr Le Pierres becomes conciliatory
On the other hand, bringing Gaia into it does not seem to be a problem. By a quirk of the calendar, this also happens to be Earth Day, which has allowed all kinds of dubious parallels to be drawn between the Crucifixion of Christ and the suffering of the planet.
A dubious consolation. As though homage to Gaia represents the alternative to holy? What patent nonsense. What does the Gaia hypothesis explain that evolution and ecology don't explain a thousand times better? Gaia, understood as a living earth, makes for good poetry and is quite like Christianity in that it suggests there is some sort of a super lifeform that (sort of) runs things. On the contrary, the study of evolution and ecology demonstrates that it is mindless small-scale locally interacting molecules that have large-scale effects; like cells, bodies (brains?), ecosystems, and capitalistic economies. Personally, I find Gia to be just as nutty as the God myth.

Mr Le Pierres continues to poor buckets of bullshit upon reason and then, suddenly, blurts:
My purpose here is not to debate the validity of this religious doctrine.
For once I agree Mr Le Pierres, you give no reason to believe religious doctrine, you merely presume to press it upon us. And with that, Mr Le Pierres makes a dastardly statement:
We have lost all sense of the sacred, and my point is that it's a tragedy. Our civilization is probably the least introspective in history. Superficiality is its hallmark, not spirituality.
Really? In my view, it is difficult to conceive of anything more superficial than believing doctrine, unless it is believing in religious doctrine. As Mr Pierres says:
Our ancestors certainly grasped the holiness of God,..
and I would add, that our ancestors were captive to that holiness. Furthermore, religions exploited that holiness to control the majority of people for the benefit of a sadistic and greedy, powerful elite. Today, secular society has put most of Christianity on a leash. Christians have, for the most part, stopped burning dissidents alive. Some other religions will still stone you to death if you reject their teachings. Medieval times are what you can expect to get when everyone believes in God and lets the pius preachers run amok. Religion so dominated the medieval world that even the concept of cause and effect was brutally suppressed. Scholars were reduced to mere list making, documenting God's work. What a waste! Mr Le Pierres can call himself superficial, I'd agree. But the scientists and other serious thinkers of modern times are the most analytical and deepest thinkers, ever!

As a final flourish, Mr Le Pierres proclaims:
The wisdom of the ancients was rooted in that innate sense of humility. Hubris, however, has become the masthead of the modern world.
Wisdom of the ancients? Perhaps Mr Le Pierres has been doing too much Stargate? The ancients were not a technologically advanced civilization that ascended to some higher plan of existence. The ancients were drivelheads who wrote nonsense. Nonsense that contradicts itself, as Thomas Paine showed more than 200 years ago... at the beginning of "The Age of Reason". Nonsense that contradicts observation and the power of inference.
And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replemish the earth and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
What an arrogant ranking of beings: God on top, then man, and so on. Of course, women were ranked beneath men... although some of them have leveraged themselves into a better place, no thanks to God, and certainly no thanks to pius leaders. And how convenient to have a ranking system where slavery can be justified, as it was, and still is in some places.

No Mr Le Pierres, the masthead of the modern world (an age of some reason) has three great sails that power it: bravery, humility, and creativity. It is the bravery to test thoughts on the anvil of objective inference and observation. It is the humility to cast aside a cherished notion that turns out to be wrong. And then having the creativity to try again. Mr Le Pierres, it's the best game in town --- and I love it!